Saturday, April 7, 2012

Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge - What Does Food Cost?

While thinking about the GPFSC I realized that I don't know what most of the stuff I buy at the grocery store costs. On the tape from this morning's grocery run:
  • 1% Milk - $3.56/gallon ($0.028/oz)
  • Store Brand long grain white rice - $3.19/2 pounds
  • Whole Wheat Bread - $3.59/1.5 pound loaf -18 slices + 1 end.
  • Dry pasta all shapes - $1.59/1 pound box
  • Large Eggs - $1.99/dozen ($0.17 each)
  • Peeled Italian style Tomatoes - $1.50/28 oz can
  • Store Brand Italian style sausage - $3.99/1 lb. package of 5 links
  • Sorrento Brand "fresh" Mozzarella - $3.99/8 oz ball.
  • Store Brand unsalted butter - $2.99/pound ($0.19/oz)
So from this run I can see breakfast as something like:
  • 2 eggs - $0.34 (180 calories/12.6 grams protein)
  • 0.5 oz (1 Tbs.) butter to cook the eggs -  $0.095 (50 calories)
  • 1 slice toast + 0.5 oz butter - $0.20 + $0.095 (90 + 50 calories, 4 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber)
  • 8 oz Milk - $0.23 (110 calories, 8 g. protein)
  • Total: $0.96
Not bad on cost at less than a dollar. There are 480 calories there, 24.6 grams protein, and 2 grams dietary fiber. That's roughly a third of the day's protein for a 200 lb. person but less than 6% of daily fiber need (about 35 grams per day is recommended). And a lot of those calories are from fat.

You can make a baked pasta dish from that list using a pound of pasta, 1 can of tomatoes, the mozzarella and the sausage for a total of $11.07. It makes eight large servings at $1.39 each. (I've rounded up the unit costs in all of the examples.) I'm not sure what eggplant costs right now, but you could substitute an eggplant for the sausage for a rather healthier version.

Of course at this point there's no fruit, the only vegetables are tomatoes, and there's about 4 grams of fiber in the bread and pasta (6 grams if eggplant replaces the sausage).

Edit: Eggplant is $1.69 a pound. So a medium sized eggplant would be about $2.50, saving $1.49 and a boatload of fat and calories and adding about 16 grams of fiber.


  1. Hi there! I know I am late responding, but I just ran across your blog and started reading. I like it! LOVE the photos to go along with your descriptions! ANyway, I had to add...tomatoes are a fruit. ;) I will NEVER for get that thanks to my 6th grade Science teacher! :)

    1. Jeeze... I can't believe I wrote that. You're right of course.



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